Fire Safety

Fifth Graders Check out the Smoke Room

Firefighter Tom cracked open the door of the small classroom. Smoke wafted out into the hallway. “Crawl in quickly,’” he said, letting one fifth grader in at a time. “Then go that way,” he added, pointing to the right.

Less than 30 seconds later, the same students came back in through the exterior door.

“What was it like?" their classmates asked. “I’m scared.”

Get Low and Go

Learning for the whole school

Meadow Pond fifth graders had the unique experience of moving through a “smoke room” today. The simulation was set up in the interventionist’s room by members of the Vista Fire Department so students could practice moving safely through a smoky space. Later that week, younger grades would meet with the firefighters and learn rules including get low and go.

The program began in the classroom. Vista Fire Department District Manager Thomas Ritchey, a Meadow Pond graduate who introduced himself to the students as Firefighter Tom, led a discussion with students. He stressed how quickly a fire can move. “If you smell smoke or see fire, get out as quickly as possible,” he said. “It is easier to breathe if you stay low.”

He reminded the students that during school fire drills, everyone met on the field. “Set up a meeting place with your family. It can be a mailbox or swing set, just as long as everyone knows, and go there,” he said.

Fire Safety Week learning

Confidence comes through practice

After moving through the smoke room, the students were excited to share what it was like. “The smoke smelled like burnt cookies,” said one student. “I couldn’t see anything!” said another. “I’ve never been in that room before; I didn’t know where the window was.”

Firefighter Dominick Mangone was in the room with them, reminding them where the window was. Once they got close, they could see the sunshine. Just outside the window was Lieutenant Daniel Castelhano, also a MPES dad, saying, “You did it! Good job!”